For some competitors in the Cameco Cowboy Tough (CCT) 3.5-day Expedition Race across Wyoming, Day 3 started before Day 2 ended for other teams.
As with any endurance event, competitors must be physically tough enough to put in the distance and just as strong mentally to keep those feet moving forward. But in adventure racing, strategy often comes in to play. Do you rest or do you try to find as many checkpoints as possible? It depends on the race and your team.
On Day 2 of the Cameco Cowboy Tough (CCT) 3.5-day Expedition Race across Wyoming, two teams raced neck and neck–Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing (two-time Cameco Cowboy Tough champions and fourth place in the Adventure Racing World Series) and Cameco Cowboy Tough newbies Swedish Armed Forces (currently ranked 15th in the ARWS). At one point Tecnu chose not to retrieve optional checkpoints, reserving energy for later, whereas the Swedish Armed Forces Team got checkpoints but no rest. And they took the lead. But as the day wore on, navigation errors caused the Swedes to become lost more than once, adding many more miles to an already several-hundred-mile-long race. By mid-afternoon today, Day 3, this undeniably strong and qualified team chose not to continue racing.
But the Cameco Cowboy Tough continues, with Tecnu now in the lead. But the race is not over. We’re seeing strength and strategy from six four-person co-ed teams battling it out with Tecnu for the title: YogaSlackers, Nordic Adventure Racing, NYARA, DART Nuun, and Committed.
Many teams did not make a 10:00 am/MST mandatory cutoff, but, rather than be disqualified from this adventure, they’ve been moved into a new category—Adventure Class. They’ve put in the time and effort, and the race continues for them.
Journey Racing, a two-person co-ed team, is the only other team “officially” racing, and they are in the thick of the adventure.
A few other teams have chosen not to continue, McGinley Innovations from Casper and New Mexico Red or Green from New Mexico.
Today racers biked about 20 miles to Outlaw Cave. With the protection of the deep and narrow canyons and the red cliffs allowing only a few passages from the east and west, Outlaw Cave was the perfect hideout for Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and the Wild Bunch. As you can imagine, it ain’t easy to get there.
Once out of the canyon, teams headed on bike to Cowboy Camp on Buffalo Creek Road, finding optional checkpoints and then making their way the 40 miles to the 57,000-acre Willow Creek Ranch. Founded in 1882, Willow Creek Ranch is an active cattle and horse farm and a dude ranch. Racers will complete an another o-course, and it is expected to take around 12-15 hours for teams to grab some or all of the 15 checkpoints.